The operas which will be opening the season in the following four years of the Teatro dell’Opera of Rome will be: Dialogues des Carmélites by Francis Poulenc directed by Emma Dante in 2022, Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito directed by Simon Stone, in his Italian opera debut, in 2023, Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi staged by Richard Jones in 2024, and Lohengrin directed by Damiano Michieletto in 2025. This is going to be his first direction of a work by Richard Wagner. All these operas will be conducted by the music director Michele Mariotti, who will also direct Lohengrin by Richard Wagner for the first time. The 27 November of each year will become the official day of the opening of the season, this was the date of the premiere of an opera season at the Teatro Costanzi in 1880. Replicas until 6 December 2022.
“The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is planning the years ahead” – says Sovrintendente Francesco Giambrone – “by featuring important works, coming from different artistic and historical periods, performed by outstanding artists known for their contemporary and yet innovative creative power. This is how these four season’s openings were conceived. They are highly representative of our idea of opera, which is already very clearly outlined throughout the 2022/2023 season, ranging from the Baroque of Händel to the contemporary music by Arvo Pärt, passing through the bel canto, the repertoire of the twentieth century of Bartók and Janáček, the great masterpieces of Verdi, Puccini, and Wagner. A programme featuring nine operas, along with an increased number of ballet performances, and eight new productions. In addition there is the powerful contribution of our music director, who is planning three new productions in the season, a further two touring operas, and two concerts.
On top of that we have to mention, – says Francesco Giambrone – the resuming of the Foundation’s artistic activities abroad, from Oman to Japan, via Paris, along with closer cooperations with important network of prestigious Italian and international theatres with which we intend to realise innovative and creative projects. To complement and enrich our opera programme, concerts will also be performed again with the aim to promote the talent of our artistic ensembles, as in the case of the first act of Walküre conducted by Omer Meir Wellber, Verdi’s Requiem and Schumann’s Manfred conducted by Michele Mariotti, or the concert of the three countertenors, scheduled along with the performances of Giulio Cesare in Egitto. Last but not least, we have established a strong network of cooperation with the city’s most prestigious cultural institutions, such as the MAXXI, with which we have launched the project of entrusting the graphic image of the new season’s programme and the theatre’s profile to a different artist each year. This year we will start with Marinella Senatore and her evocative collages”.
The 2022/2023 season therefore features 8 new productions, 9 operas, 5 ballets, and 4 concerts. There will be many premieres of important artists and works: the Polish director Krzysztof Warlikowski with Da una casa di morti will make his first opera direction in Italy, and Janáček’s masterpiece will be staged for the first time in the history of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. Director Johannes Erath also stages his first opera in Italy with the diptych Tabarro and Duke Bluebeard’s Castle. Adam’s passion by Robert Wilson, with music by Arvo Pärt, sees its first and only performance in our country, and marks the debut at the Teatro Costanzi of a great dance performer such as Lucinda Childs. Among the artists performing for the first time at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma are the conductors Omer Meir Wellber, Tõnu Kaljuste and Francesco Lanzillotta, the singers Danielle De Niese, Aleksandra Kurzak, Elena Stikhina, Brian Jagde, Stanislas de Barbeyrac and the two countertenors Raffaele Pe and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. Eleonora Buratto will sing Madama Butterfly for the first time in Europe, following her recent success at the Metropolitan in New York. There are dancers such as Olga Smirnova, Léonore Baulac, Isabella Boylston, Victor Caixeta and Osiel Gouneo who will also be making their Costanzi debut.
It is also worth mentioning the collaboration with RAI, the Italian television channel. RAI Cultura will broadcast three operas: Dialogues des Carmélites, Puccini and Bartók’s Diptych and Giulio Cesare in Egitto. They will also be shown on the TV channel RAI 5, while Radio3 will broadcast the entire opera and concert season of the Teatro Costanzi. Also making his debut is the new Maestro del Coro of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Ciro Visco, who will start on the occasion of the inaugural performance.
“The Teatro dell’Opera is a great stage for Rome and a source of pride for the entire city. – says the Mayor of Rome and President of the Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera Roberto Gualtieri – With a programme of the highest quality, the next season will further enhance the reputation of an institution valued not only by Romans but also by an increasingly international audience. The growing popularity of the theatre and the success of its artistic activities are very important results for our city, for which I would like to thank the Sovrintendente Francesco Giambrone and all the people whose professionalism inspires this extraordinary cultural institution of the Capital and the country in general. Cultural activities are increasingly popular in the city, and they will continue to be the protagonists and a fundamental element for the promotion of Rome”.
THE NETWORK OF INSTITUTIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND THE OPEN THEATRE
The development of the artistic programme goes hand in hand with the opening of the Theatre to the local communities. For this reason, the network of institutional cooperations within Rome is growing and is enriched with new projects and future partnerships with important institutions such as MAXXI, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the organisations Musica per Roma, EUR S.p.A. through its branch EUR Culture per Roma, the Soprintendenza Speciale di Roma, the Universities and the world of education, Atac, the fifteen Municipalities of Roma Capitale, important local authorities, with parts of the extended network of local communities and cultural associations.
Alongside the official programme of opera, ballet and concert, the activities of Fabbrica and the Scuola di Danza, new initiatives are flourishing or have sprung up in recent months and will be consolidated. One of them is Linea Opera, which has begun to build a strong relationship with many local communities, another one is Una notte a teatro, which will help us strengthen, especially among children and young people, the idea of a theatre like a home.
The programme and all the activities of the Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera are realised thanks to the collaboration with our Private Partners such as the Camera di Commercio di Roma and ACEA. Equally important is the contribution of companies which for a long time have chosen to support our activities as Patrons and Sponsors, these include Banca del Fucino, Terna, BMW Roma, American Express and Aeroporti di Roma.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CO-PRODUCTIONS
The open cooperation with the city is matched by an equal open cooperation with Italy and Europe. Partnerships have been established with some of the most important national and international theatres. The Dialogues des Carmélites are co-produced with the Teatro La Fenice di Venezia; the diptych made up of Tabarro and Duke Bluebeard’s Castle is being co-produced with the Festival Puccini di Torre del Lago, on the occasion of the centenary of the composer’s birth. Da una casa di morti has been produced with the Royal Opera House of London, the Théâtre de la Monnaie of Brussels and the Opéra National of Lyon; while Giulio Cesare in Egitto is co-produced with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées of Paris, Oper Leipzig and Opéra national de Montpellier.
International collaborations will continue in the coming years, with Mefistofele directed by Simon Stone produced together with the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the Teatro Real of Madrid, while Lohengrin directed by Damiano Michieletto is co-produced with the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía of Valencia.
Dialogues des Carmélites according to Emma Dante deferred-live on Rai5 and live on Radio3
On Sunday 27 November 2022, the curtain rises on the new production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, which has not been performed at the Costanzi since 1991, and which is being staged under the baton of Michele Mariotti and directed by Emma Dante, in a co-production with the Teatro La Fenice di Venezia. Among the protagonists on stage are Corinne Winters, who in Rome was the unforgettable interpreter of Madama Butterfly and Kát’a Kabanová, in the part of Blanche de la Force; Anna Caterina Antonacci, who with Michele Mariotti and Emma Dante was the protagonist of Poulenc’s Voix Humaine in Bologna, as Madame de Croissy; but also Ewa Vesin (Madame Lidoine), Ekaterina Gubanova (Mère Marie de l’Incarnation) and Jean-François Lapointe (Marquis de la Force). The opening evening is broadcast deffered-live by Rai Cultura on Rai5 and live on Rai Radio3.
Bel canto celebrities for L’elisir d’amore
After the Christmas holidays, from 11 to 15 January, there will be a revival of Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore with a cast of authentic bel canto celebrities, led by John Osborn and Aleksandra Kurzak in the parts of Nemorino and Adina. The production is by Ruggero Cappuccio. It was first successfully staged in 2011 and revived in 2014. The conductor is Francesco Lanzillotta, who is making his opera debut in Rome.
A new Aida directed by Davide Livermore
Michele Mariotti returns from 31 January to 12 February for a new production of Aida, a production which he first performed at the Paris Opéra in 2021, and which is directed by Davide Livermore, assisted by Giò Forma for the set design, Gianluca Falaschi for the costumes, Antonio Castro for the lights and D-Wok for the videos. This production features great singers in the cast, with Krassimira Stoyanova as Aida, Fabio Sartori as Radamès, Ekaterina Semenchuk as Amneris, Vladimir Stoyanov as Amonasro and Riccardo Zanellato as Ramfis.
A tribute to Zeffirelli with Pagliacci
On the 100th anniversary of Franco Zeffirelli’s birth, the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma chooses to commemorate the great master with one of his best-loved operas: Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, which was first staged in 1992 and which has been successfully performed ever since. The parts of Nedda and Canio are played by Nino Machaidze and Brian Jagde. The seven performances of the opera, from 12 to 19 March, are conducted by Daniel Oren.
Robert Wilson and Arvo Pärt working together for Adam’s Passion
A particular attention and a very special setting are dedicated to contemporary music: Friday 31 March and Saturday 1 April the Nuvola by Fuksas will host Adam’s Passion, the theatrical performance conceived in 2015 by Robert Wilson in a joint production with Estonian composer Arvo Pärt and presented for the first time and exclusively in Italy thanks to the collaboration with EUR S.p.A. / EUR Culture per Roma. The work is based on Wagner’s idea of a “total work of art” and blends together music, conducted by Tõnu Kaljuste, dance, with Lucinda Childs making her debut at the Rome Opera, lighting, curated by A.J. Weissbard, and singing. This is all to narrate, in the evocative language of Wilson and Pärt, the life of Adam after his expulsion from Eden.
Music Director Michele Mariotti’s third production of the season is part of a three-year project in collaboration with the Festival Puccini di Torre del Lago to celebrate the centenary of the composer’s death. His Triptych will be broken down and recomposed into three diptychs, staged one per year for three consecutive seasons, thanks to the juxtaposition of each work with another 20th century masterpiece. “Only after composing Il tabarro” – says Mariotti – “did Puccini decide to accompany the one-act drama with Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. The idea of the Triptycht herefore came about along the way. Our idea was instead to break it down, combining each title with another 20th century one-act, which would enhance its most salient musical and dramaturgical features. A way to look at Puccini’s tripartite masterpiece from a different angle. In the 2022/2023 season we will present Il tabarro and Duke Bluebeard’s Castle by Béla Bartók, both contemporary because they were first staged in 1918, and both stories of gender violence and incommunicability within a couple. These are stories which remind us of the too many cases in the news today, in which women are overwhelmed by men and their violence. In the following season, we will stage Suor Angelica together with The Prisoner by Luigi Dallapiccola: two more works united by violence, which in both works is expressed through religious fanaticism. In the 2023/2024 season, the project will be completed with Gianni Schicchi and L’heure espagnole by Maurice Ravel: these are two extraordinary funny pages, in which one may have a laugh, but in a cynical and somewhat bitter way, at the misfortunes of life”.
The first chapter of this “Trittico ricomposto”, on stage from 6 to 18 April, is a new production under the direction of German director Johannes Erath, which has already worked with Mariotti at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich on the occasion of the performance of Verdi’s I masnadieri, and which is making his debut in Italy in an opera. The protagonists of Il Tabarro are Luca Salsi, Gregory Kunde and Maria Agresta, while those of Bartók’s masterpiece are Ekaterina Semenchuk and Mikhail Petrenko. The performance is recorded by Rai Cultura and broadcast by the television channel Rai5.
Janáček project with Da una Casa di Morti (From a House of the Dead)
The month of May sees the continuation of another three-year project: the one linked to the Czech composer Leoš Janáček, which featured Kát’a Kabanová in the 2021/2022 season, continues in 2022/2023 with Da una Casa di Morti, and will conclude in 2023/2024 with Jenůfa. All three works are realised in co-operation with the Royal Opera House of London. Da una Casa di Morti, is scheduled for five performances from 23 to 30 May, is being staged for the first time in the history of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and is directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, a Leone d’oro winner at the Biennale Teatro di Venezia, who is making his opera debut in Italy. Directing Janáček’s masterpiece, based on Dostoevsky, is the young Belarusian Dmitry Matvienko, a talent of the new generation who has recently made a name for himself by winning the Malko Competition in Copenhagen.
Eleonora Buratto makes her European debut as Madama Butterfly
In June, from the 16th to the 25th, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly returns to the stage, in Àlex Ollé’s highly acclaimed staging of La fura dels Baus, realised in collaboration with the Sydney Opera, created for the summer season at Caracalla, revived and re-adapted for the stage of the Teatro Costanzi. The protagonist is soprano Eleonora Buratto, which as Cio Cio-San recently achieved extraordinary success at the Metropolitan in New York, and who interprets Madama Butterfly for the first time in Europe. Next to her is Dmytro Popov as Pinkerton, Anna Maria Chiuri as Suzuki and Roberto Frontali as Sharpless. On the podium is Roberto Abbado, which will direct Puccini’s masterpiece for the first time.
Giulio Cesare in Egitto by Damiano Michieletto
The opera season ends in October, from 13 to 21, with five performances of Giulio Cesare in Egitto by Georg Friedrich Händel. The production, directed by Damiano Michieletto, is co-produced with the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées of Paris, Oper Leipzig and Opéra national de Montpellier and is being staged in Italy for the first time. The direction is in the hands of Rinaldo Alessandrini, at the head of the Orchestra of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. It features three of today’s most successful countertenors: Raffaele Pe in the role of the title, Carlo Vistoli as Ptolemy and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen as Sextus. The part of Cleopatra, on the other hand, is given to the charming voice of Danielle de Niese. The performance is going to be filmed by Rai Cultura and broadcast on the Italian channel Rai5.
The new ballet season of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma continues in the same direction as in recent years, stepping up the promotion of “ballet culture” carried out by the Director of the Corps de Ballet, Eleonora Abbagnato.
Don Quixote by Laurent Hilaire
We start with Don Quixote with choreography by Laurent Hilaire, which inaugurated the 2017/2018 Season. Based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes, the ballet is presented with costumes designed by Francesco Zito, an icon of elegance and charm. All the vivacity, energy, joy and romanticism of this version are entrusted to the bravura and interpretation skills of international guests such as Isabella Boylston and Daniel Camargo, Iana Salenko and Osiel Gouneo. David Garforth conducts the orchestra. After the premiere on 18 December, it will be run until 31 December.
La Bayadère with Olga Smirnova and Jacopo Tissi
From 24 February to 2 March there is La Bayadère, in a new choreographic version by Benjamin Pech from Marius Petipa. Pech, after having created a successful edition of Swan Lake for the Corps de Ballet of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, takes on an icon of the classical tradition, in a new staging with sets and lighting designed by Ignasi Monreal and Vinicio Cheli respectively. Olga Smirnova, making her debut at the Costanzi, alternates with Maia Makhateli in the role of Nikija, the bayadera in love with and secretly married to the warrior Solor, played by Jacopo Tissi and Victor Caixeta. The music by Ludwig Minkus is conducted by the baton of Kevin Rhodes.
La Fille mal gardée in Ashton’s joyful version
From 2 May comes what has to be considered the oldest ballet in the repertoire, La Fille mal gardée. It was first performed at the Teatro Costanzi in 1881, ninety-two years after its premiere in 1789 at the Gran Théâtre in Bordeaux. A key date for the ballet’s revival was 1960, when Frederick Ashton staged his own production at the Royal Opera House, inspired by his love for the Suffolk countryside. The music, adapted by John Lanchbery, is based on the original version by Ferdinand Hérold. Ashton’s virtuosic choreography narrates the passion of Lise and her lover Colas, roles played respectively by Parisian étoile Léonore Baulac, making her debut at the Teatro Costanzi, and Daniil Simkin. The conductor Philip Ellis will be on the Capitoline podium for the first time.
A special “Bolero” in the Contemporary Choreographers Evening
After the summer break, the formula of the Triptych of Ballet, strongly supported by Eleonora Abbagnato, returns at the Teatro Costanzi from 19 to 24 September. This formula has been revived on the basis of the success achieved in recent seasons. These are three different ballets which have become part of the classic repertoire. The evening opens with Within the Golden Hour, created by Christopher Wheeldon in 2008 for the San Francisco Ballet. A choreography for fourteen dancers based on the original score for strings by Ezio Bosso, with music by Antonio Vivaldi. It is followed by Chacona by Goyo Montero based on the music written by Bach, and composed in 2017 for the Ballet Nacional de Sodre in Montevideo. Conceived for classical dancers, the short ballet uses a contemporary technique. Krzysztof Pastor’s Bolero created in 2012 based on Ravel’s masterpiece ends the evening. In his version, Pastor decides to use a large rectangular space. From here he develops his idea and entrusts the performance to a man and a woman, a couple whose bodies are repeatedly embraced and subsequently released by the Corps de Ballet.
Bigonzetti revises Rossini & Rossini
The ballet season ends with Rossini & Rossini, a new version of Rossini Cards which Mauro Bigonzetti had conceived in 2004, an abstract creation, free of any dramaturgical cage. On Rossini and Britten’s music, the Roman choreographer writes scenes of parallel lives: different pieces played by the leading figures of the Roman ballet company Alessandra Amato, Rebecca Bianchi, Susanna Salvi and Alessio Rezza and the first male dancers Claudio Cocino and Michele Satriano. Anna Biagiotti designed the costumes for this new production; Carlo Cerri the set and light design; video by Carlo Cerri e OOOPStudio. On the podium, the young conductor Louis Lohraseb will direct the eight performances from 27 October to 4 November.
With the 2022/2023 season, concerts are back at the Teatro Opera di Roma. Four appointments which complete the programme, sometimes complementing the operas featured in the season playbill, sometimes integrating them.
The protagonist of two evenings is music director Michele Mariotti, which will direct Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem on Wednesday 15 February. The symphonic-choral masterpiece is scheduled within the period of the performances of Aida, of which it is a contemporary, with an international cast comprising soprano Elena Stikhina, mezzo-soprano Yulia Matochkina, tenor Stefan Pop and bass Giorgi Manoshvili. Of course, the Chorus of the Capitoline Foundation also takes centre stage.
Glauco Mauri is Manfred
For his second concert, scheduled for Thursday, 20 April, Michele Mariotti chose one of the great masterpieces of German musical literature: Manfred, the dramatic poem which Robert Schumann took from Lord Byron and which has been missing from the Teatro Costanzi’s repertoire for 56 years. The protagonist of the piece, halfway between an oratorio and an opera, which takes its inspiration from the Singspiel and the melologue, is the great actor Glauco Mauri, who, at the age of 93, plays for the first time the Byronic anti-hero tormented by irreconcilable inner conflicts. The Chorus of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma will also be on stage.
The Valkyrie according to Omer Meir Wellber
Friday 6 October sees the debut of the Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber, Music Director of the Volksoper of Vienna and of the Teatro Massimo of Palermo. He will be on the podium of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma to direct the first act of The Valkyrie in a concert form. Richard Wagner’s presence thus enlightens the 2022/2023 programme and is made particularly special by the cast, with tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac and soprano Angela Meade in the parts of the twin lovers Siegmund and Sieglinde, joined by bass Brindley Sherratt as Hunding.
The three countertenors
The last concert is scheduled in the same period along with the performances of Giulio Cesare in Egitto on Friday, 20 October 2023, and features three of today’s greatest countertenors, who have already been performing in Händel’s masterpiece: Carlo Vistoli, Raffaele Pe and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen. They will compete with high notes and colouratura, reviving the splendour of the Baroque. On the podium there will be a refined specialist of the ancient repertoire such as Gianluca Capuano.
THE PARTNERSHIP WITH MAXXI
AND MARINELLA SENATORE
The Fondazione Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and the Fondazione MAXXI have signed a three-year memorandum of understanding in 2022 aimed at developing synergic actions to enhance and promote the arts of the 21st century. The first stage of cooperation sees the involvement of the internationally renowned artist Marinella Senatore, selected by the Director of MAXXI Arte Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, to create a series of operas commissioned by the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, inspired by the titles featured in the 2022/2023 Season’s programme and intended to represent them.
The works by Marinella Senatore, realised in collaboration between the Teatro dell’Opera, the Museo MAXXI – with the involvement of Elena Motisi, MAXXI curator, and Paolo Cairoli, Communications Consultant for the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma – and the support of Galleria Mazzoleni, led to an extended iconographic research aimed at the creation of 20 previously unpublished collages characterised by a powerful visual impact.
Contemporary portraits, period photographs, historical sketches and moving silhouettes hover over musical scores and authorial drawings, recreating an amazing new world, which seems to come to life and return to the flow of a music in constant evolution. It is a dreamlike and provocative universe that is presented in Marinella Senatore’s collages, which reveal all the modernity of the themes dealt with in the Season’s Programme that the Teatro Opera di Roma is staging: revolutionary women, imprisonment and slavery, religion and freedom, dreaming of travelling to faraway lands, thoughts on post-colonialism, desires for joy and passion.
The artist’s collages, featured in all the communication of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma’s 2022/2023 Season, represent the perfect synthesis among opera, dance, symphonic music and visual arts, in an innovative key and with an eye always focused on the political-social dimension we are now experiencing.
Rome, 22 July 2022